The American Gas Association (AGA) launched a program this year that shows some great promise for improving safety at its member companies. Two hundred of these companies will be organized into peer groups of three or four companies based on similar business contexts. The objective is to develop best practices in safety management based on peer observations and group discussions. It is an all-too-rare example of peer companies opening up their doors to each other for the greater good.
It is also a great example of two advantages that can be provided by trade associations. First, it demonstrates how a trade association can step in to facilitate cooperation that benefits its entire industry. Second, it shows how trade associations can learn from each other at a much higher level. The AGA developed this program after reviewing similar kinds of activities in the aviation, chemical, fire-fighting, nuclear, rail and trucking industries.